As a rule, I don't really cook for myself. When the Critic is away, I subsist on leftovers and comfort food. Since my maternity leave began this means the occasional bowl of cereal and whatever was left from yesterday's dinner. Sometimes, though, last night's leftover ingredients inspire me to make a proper meal. And so this morning, looking at the leftover grilled zucchini (used in a substantial confit de canard salad) I had an inspiration: eggs + grilled zucchini + a nice slice of ham + a leftover sliver of grilled red pepper = a delicious omelette.
I don't make omelettes very often for the very simple reason that the Critic isn't overly fond of eggs. When I do make eggs, they are usually simply scrambled, perhaps with a little cheese and ham. I can't remember the last time I made an omelette. Then again, I can't remember the last time I made a ten-minute breakfast that was so tasty and filling. The zucchini, brushed with olive oil and grilled on my cast-iron grill, had a nice smoky flavour that went perfectly with the tender ham. The slice of red pepper added a little sweetness. All in all it was a great combination and has made me realise how heavy the cheese I usually add can make an omelette!
Grilled Zucchini and Pepper Omelette
half a small zucchini
1/4 red pepper
1 slice of ham, cut in matchstick pieces
pinch of salt
generous grinding of pepper
2 Tbs milk
I had the zucchini and pepper left from the evening before. If you don't have such commodities left over, it will add some ten to fifteen minutes to prepare them, but it's worth it. Turn on the grill or broiler in your oven and expose the skin side of the pepper to the heat source. (I usually cut my peppers in half, remove the seeds and put the halves on the cookie sheet.) When the skin is blackened and the pepper tender, put it in a closed plastic bag in the fridge. To prepare the zucchini, slice them in slabs just under 1 cm (1/4") thick and brush them with olive oil. Place them on a very hot grill pan and press into the pan to get nice black marks. Turn them a few times, putting them down at different angles to get nice diamond shaped marks. When they are tender, remove to a plate and slice in thin sticks. Remove the pepper from the fridge and carefully peel off the skin. If a few bits stick, don't worry too much. You just want to get off most of the burnt part. Slice in thin pieces.
Beat the eggs in a bowl with the salt and pepper and milk. Melt a few tablespoons of butter in the bottom of an omelette pan (any low-sided frying pan will do - nonstick will make your job easier). When the butter begins to froth pour the eggs into the pan. You'll want the heat to be fairly high to cook the omelette quickly. Once you have a firm layer of eggs, you can tilt the pan while lifting up the bottom end of the eggs to let the runny eggs slip underneath. When they are nearly as done as you like your eggs, sprinkle the zucchini, pepper and ham over the eggs and let cook for another minute.
Take a large spatula and carefullly lift one third of the omelette up and fold into the middle. Remove the pan from the fire and hold it over the plate. Carefully jiggle the pan so that the uncovered third of the omelette slides onto the plate. Flip the pan so that the remainder of the egg folds over the third on the plate. (Does that make any sense? If I had a professional photographer in the kitchen like Jamie Oliver and Kieth Floyd I could show you.) Garnish with a nice ripe red tomato and devour immediately.